Recipe: Spicy Lentil and Coconut Soup

I bought myself a little Slow Cooker (a bargain at  23 quid, I might add) a few months ago after coveting one for years. I just love slow-cooked dishes, they are always so flavourful and tender and delicious. So I’ve been experimenting away and one of the great things about a Slow Cooker is that they require very little effort and maximum tasty. You can pop it on to cook and then get on with life.

This Spicy Lentil and Coconut Soup is one of my super healthy recipes. Ok, the coconut milk is a little fatty, but it’s good to have fats in your diet and all the pulses and spices are brilliant for giving you a vitamin fix.

This soup is inspired by Southeast Asian flavours with the sweetness of the coconut, the kick-ass spices and sour kick of the lime juice at the end. I love it. And I am a big fan of pulses in soups. Originally this soup was just for lentils but then I had a can of chickpeas in the cupboard so I chucked that in as well. Lovely.

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can easily cook this soup on a low heat in your oven. Slow and gentle is the way!

Spicy Lentil and Coconut Soup (serves 4-6)


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 – 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2tsp cumin
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • ½tsp turmeric
  • ½tsp cinnamon
  • ½tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2tsp salt
  • 3tbsp tomato puree
  • 400g dried red split lentils
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1litre water
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • Lime, juice only
  • Fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Fry up the onion, pepper and chilli in some olive oil for 5 minutes or until they soften.
  2. Stir through the ginger, garlic, spices and tomato puree and fry for a further minute.
  3. Tip the mixture into a slow cooker (or oven-proof casserole pot with a lid) and add the lentils, chickpeas, water and coconut milk. Stir all the ingredients together and cook for 4-5 hours in the slow cooker (or 2 hours in the oven at 130C).
  4. Taste the soup to check the pulses are soft and then stir through the lime juice and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
  5. Serve with a handful of fresh coriander sprinkled on top.